Xyclopz: I was shocked to know 20,000 people tuned in
Treephob 'Xyclopz' Tiangtrong is an English caster which recently shot to fame after he was invited by Sheever to co-cast Na`Vi's first game after their roster change against 3DMAX. Due to his accent, he has received a lot of love and hate from the community and today, Gosugamers caught up with him for an interview on his personal life, what is he doing to improve on the stream and his venture into Dota 2 casting.
Hello there Xyclopz. How are you doing?
Hi ReiNNNN. I'm doing great now. I had some trouble last month but everything is getting better now.
Tell us a little about yourself. How old are you now and how long have you been playing games?
Hi everyone. My real name is Treephob Tiangtrong. I am 26 years old and I'm from Thailand. I'm the only son. Now I am working as an industrial engineer. I love party, girls, racing and casting games. I started playing games during my free time in 2008 and DotA was the first game that I have played. After my first game, I fell in love with DotA and can't stop playing. I've been playing Dota for 4 years now but I just started casting for about 3 months. I used to be the director of Axis Esport, a Thai gaming organization but I left them in 2011 for studies. I came back to the professional gaming scene as a caster three months ago.
Why "Xyclopz"? Is it a reference to the Cyclops character from X-Men?
Oh a lot of people has also asked me the same question. Well I used to be a football player for my university and one day, I got hit on my right eye which I had to wear an eye-patch for a month. People started calling me Cyclops and still called me that even after the eye patch came off. So it sounds pretty good, why not.
Oh poor you *laughs*. Your eyes are good enough as long as you don't miss the First Blood! What are you doing apart from casting?
I always miss First Blood actually *laughs*. I spend my daytime mostly working and go clubbing and drinking at night. Sometimes i do midnight car racing and try to escape from the cops.
You ever got caught?
Never but if you guys never see me online in the future, you can assume that I am in jail. Please donate some money to bail me out.
Maybe we can make a kickstarter for you like BeyondTheSummit. Yes I'll make my video from the prison and post it in the kickstarter.
Most parents have problems with their kids playing too many games. What do your loved ones have to say about you spending so much time to cast games? I think I'm so lucky. My parents always support me in everything I do. They have full confidence in me and when there are bad times, they are always there for me. That's why I never get tired of casting even though if I have to cast 12 hours in a row. I love my parents, I love DotA and I love my viewers so much.
What about your girlfriend? Oh man. This is a hard question. I broke up with my ex-girlfriend for about 10 months now. Her name is Keloon and she plays Dota 2 in SEA server. We broke up because I did a lot of stupid things during that time. It was my fault and I miss the old days when we used to play Dota 2 together. I will play the carry and she will play the support. Now I'm single and living alone. Anyway after months of sadness, I realized that letting go is another way to say I love her.
Wow I'm sorry to hear that. Let's move on. Have you casted in Thai before switching to English?
I have never casted a single game in Thai. I accidentally started casted three months ago in my own tournament named SEAeSport. Initially, I was just an admin for the tournament but I really can't find an English caster for the tournament. So I planned a Thai stream but I got scolded by a lot of viewers since it's a SEA tournament after all, and they want an English caster. I really don't know where to find one, so I did it myself. That's how it all happened.
How were the responses to your first time casting?
There were only about 50 people watching my stream at that time. My co-caster, Snaqky and I made a lot of mistakes and it wasn't a very good cast but the viewers were very forgiving and kept on supporting us. They are so nice although my English sucks so bad. My analysis was not good, my knowledge of the game was not good but they still cheer me on. I wouldn't have come this far without them. They are my teachers.
Your fame really skyrocketed when you started casting with Sheever in some events. Who came up with the idea for the duo?
I got sheever in my skype contact. One day she messaged me asking me if I want to co-cast with her tonight. I said yes without thinking and when I asked which tournament will we be casting, she said some European tournament. I was so nervous because I have never casted an European tournament before. I don't even know the name and position of the players. While I was casting the game, I didn't realize how many viewers were tuning in and I didn't even know it was Na`Vi's first game with their newly announced roster! The next day, I was shocked to know that there were 20,000 people watching the cast. I felt pretty bad because I know I ruined quite an important game casting it badly. Apologies for that.
I don't think everybody think you ruined the game. In fact I think you made a fair bit of people laugh on the livestream. People were going crazy in the chat about your jokes like this one, "Oh. They are smoking lot. They are gonna get lung cancer". Do you prepare your material beforehand or does it come naturally?
Both naturally and prepared. I always make jokes with my friends when we visit LAN cafes. Some of the jokes are from the viewers too. The main problem is I can't exactly remember all the skills and items in the game because I am lacking in knowledge. So I decided to call it in my own way. As a caster, we have to be very updated with the scene news and adapt it to the cast. I'm still working hard on that for my casting in the future. Hopefully I can provide a bigger insight and improve my English for the viewers.
So you are planning to cast long term?
Yes I do. If the viewers still support me and organizers give me a chance to cast tournaments. I'll try my best in every single game I am allowed to cast.
Some people love you while some cannot stand your accent. Will you be trying to improve on this aspect or do you think it makes you unique?
I'm trying to improve it but it's really slow to do so because after all, English is not my native language. I have to apologize for my accent. All I can do now is to improve my vocab, grammar, insights and some viewers said even a kid can cast better than me, and I agree with them. We have a lot of great casters in Dota 2 and they are the better choice to watch.
You have to stop beating yourself up mate. How do you handle criticism? Some high profile casters such as Tobiwan has been at the receiving end of an offensive community. Does it break your heart to see some of these comments?
I soak in all the criticism from viewers. I will try to improve something everytime I cast but sometimes when people scold me for something that I can't improve on like my accent or voice, it does break my heart.
Who is your role model when it comes to casting?
All the casters out there are my role model. They all have a very unique way of casting which I can learn a lot from. I tune in to Twitch every night to watch the games, the casting and trolling the chat room. I learn something more from every game that I watched.
Who do you enjoy casting with the most?
No doubt it's snaqky. We have been friend in real life for five years and we had a lot of good time casting together a few months ago. I can be whatever I want when I am casting with him. We always do some stupid things on the live streaming like singing songs, Gangnam Style dance, stalking girls on Facebook and even the Harlem Shake. I miss him a lot.
Alright Xyclopz. I'm about done with this interview. Let's move on to some quickfire questions before we conclude the interview shall we.
1. If you can ask God for something, what will you ask for?
Get back together with Keloon
2. Favourite curse word
Go home Xyclopz, U're drunk.
3. Best nickname ever saw
Barrack (Obama). He is born for war so his name is Barrack
4. Timbersaw - Love it or hate it?
Hate because he chop me like a tree in pub games.
5. Favourite girl band/singer
6. Favourite alive band/singer
Justin Timberlake. How about my favourite almost dead band and singer?
7. No thanks. Favourite country visited
I haven't visited much. Malaysia.
9. What everyone has to try when they go to Thailand
One night with Xyclopz (drinking, flirting girls, get high and car racing).
10. How many times have you been in an car accident?
One. One big accident. Too many stupid mistakes here and there though.
Alright Xyclopz. Thanks so much for the interview. I really appreciate that you took out time to answer all these questions. What would you like to say to all your fans and haters all over the world?
I would like to say thanks to my viewers all around the world. I wouldn't have come so far without you guys. A big shoutout to my parents, Seira, ReiNNNN, Diego, Alec, ELG2TEAM, Neolution for their studio support, RGN, Chris and a special shoutout to Keloon. As for all the haters, I apologize if you are annoyed, I will try my best to improve my casting next time and thanks for being patient. Thank you ggnet for the interview.